PECTO Park (Thanks to andrewphelps.com)
More than five months from now, the first ever true Baseball World Championship will be decided at PETCO Park in San Diego.
World Baseball Classic Inc., a partnership between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), announced that the semifinal and final rounds of the inaugural World Baseball Classic will take place March 18-20 at PETCO Park.
World Baseball Classic 2006 is the first international tournament to feature major-league players; the 16-nation will be divided into four pools and feature round-robin play in each of the first two rounds.
“I am thrilled that the semi-finals and final of this exciting new event will be held at such an outstanding location,” MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said. “San Diego is one of America’s most beautiful cities, and the Padres have one of baseball’s finest facilities in PETCO Park. Baseball fans all over the world will be treated to an ideal environment for the culmination of the World Baseball Classic.”
“We are delighted the Padres have agreed to make PETCO Park available to host the semi-finals and final of the first World Baseball Classic,” said MLBPA Executive Director Donald M. Fehr. “The Club’s interest in expanding the international reach of baseball has been a long-standing one, and its enthusiasm for the event will be a major factor in its success. And the Park itself will ensure a wonderful experience for everyone, players and fans alike.”
“We are very excited about bringing the greatest players in the world to San Diego to compete for their national teams,” Padres Chief Executive Officer Sandy Alderson said. “The city of San Diego has successfully hosted many world class sporting events. With the city’s unique location so close to Mexico, and with an enthusiastic baseball fan base on both sides of the border, San Diego and PETCO Park are a perfect site for this event.”
The reasons that PECTO Park been chosen include its near international border, club management’s demonstrated enthusiasm for global baseball, also the lobbying efforts of Padres owner John Moores and Chief Executive Officer Sandy Alderson on behalf of Olympic baseball.
Besides, Padres were the first team to host regular season games beyond the United States or Canada back to August 16, 1996 in Monterrey, Mexico. They also played the first regular season games ever in Hawaii in 1997 and host the season opening game in Monterrey, Mexico in 1999.
As for PETCO Park, which is San Diego’s first facility designed specifically for baseball, opened in 2004, located in the East Village of downtown San Diego and it has 42,500 fixed seats and standing room locations for approximately 1,500 spectators.
Right now everybody is waiting for announcement of participating players and some early-round sites, also the ticket plans. The good news is Japan already agreed to participate; left Cuba is the only unconfirmed team.